Implementing the Physics of the Universe Science Plan
NOTE: ACTA, Atmospheric CČerenkov Telescope Array; GSMT, Giant Segmented Mirror Telescope; IXO, International X-ray Observatory; LISA, Laser Interferometer Space Antenna; LSST, Large Synoptic Survey Telescope; and WFIRST, Wide-Field Infrared Survey Telescope.
the coming decade. However, there is much other science outlined in Chapter 2 that is also important and timely. The program of activities proposed as a result of Astro2010 also advances this larger research program, cast here as in Chapter 2 in terms of cross-cutting themes in astronomy and astrophysics research.
Anticipating research results in a rapidly changing field is demonstrably hard, and comparisons between expectations and actual scientific results are both humbling and exhilarating. For example, when the Keck Observatory, the Hubble Space Telescope, and the Spitzer Space Telescope were designed astronomers had no evidence that there were planets around nearby stars or that gamma-ray bursts were at cosmological distances. These observatories, both independently and when used together to study the same objects, have been invaluable in advancing knowledge in unpredictable directions. Astronomy is still as much based on discovery as it is on predetermined measurements.